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Thu, 22 Oct 2020
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Mysterious Lightning Strike Closes Virginia's Grand Caverns

Darkness continues to envelop Grand Caverns, America's oldest show cave, after a lightning strike damaged the attraction's electrical system earlier this month, officials there say.

Charmaine Detrow, an education coordinator at the Grottoes park, said caverns officials are still mystified as to how cables and a light box, which provide illumination for tours, were struck by lightning. She said the system is inside the cave with no exposure to the elements.

"There's no doubt in our minds it got hit," she said. "The plastic switches are melted onto the metal box."

Cloud Lightning

Storm floods Southern California

A freak Southern California storm trapped dozens of cars in lava-like mud and delayed an LA Angels of Anaheim game for the first time.

"A mud slide will really screw up your plans," said Mark Skully, a Sunland resident whose truck became trapped Saturday when mud and debris oozed onto the road at a stop light.

©foxreno.com
A mudslide triggered by a sudden cloudburst Saturday caused a hillside near Griffith Park to collapse, trapping as many as 14 cars in mud.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm Francisco hits China, 6 fisherman missing

Tropical storm Francisco, the 14th such storm to hit China this year, made landfall in south China's Hainan Province shortly after midday on Monday, causing a fishing boat with eight people on board to capsize.

©TSR

The tropical storm, packing up winds of 72 km per hour and bringing torrential rains, landed at Changfa Township in Wenchang County at 12:30 pm, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning storm wreaks havoc in Vancouver area

Heavy rains and lightning hit British Columbia's Lower Mainland Tuesday, leaving parts of Surrey under a foot of water and causing structural damage to a home in Coquitlam.

Traffic flows were disrupted by the storm, which also left 2,000 British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority customers without power for much of Tuesday. Power outages were reported in Burnaby, Delta, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.



©CBC
Heavy rain flooded parts of British Columbia's Lower Mainland on Tuesday.


Cloud Lightning

Tornadoes cause damage in Britain

A flurry of tornadoes caused damage in a number of towns in central and southern England on Monday, officials and reports said, although no casualties were immediately reported.

Ferocious winds were reported in Farnborough, south of London, Luton and Northampton, north of the capital, and Nuneaton in Warwickshire, west central England, according to police and emergency officials.

©AFP
A flurry of tornadoes caused damage in a number of towns in central and southern England.

Bizarro Earth

Amazon forest shows unexpected resiliency during drought

Drought-stricken regions of the Amazon forest grew particularly vigorously during the 2005 drought, according to new research.

The counterintuitive finding contradicts a prominent global climate model that predicts the Amazon forest would begin to "brown down" after just a month of drought and eventually collapse as the drought progressed.

©Kamel Didan, Terrestrial Biophysics and Remote Sensing Lab, The University of Arizona.
This image shows how the Amazon forest canopy's 'greenness' differs from normal for the months of July-September 2005 (drought peak). The greenness data is derived from NASA-EOS MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard Terra Satellite. Green indicates above normal vegetation productivity compared to the 2000-2006 average, red indicates below normal, and yellow corresponds to normal . The study area is highlighted over a true color image background from NASA-EOS MODIS sensor for South America.

Bizarro Earth

The 'Old' Consensus? (NASA predicted human caused ice age in 1971)

Climate Change: Did NASA scientist James Hansen, the global warming alarmist in chief, once believe we were headed for . . . an ice age? An old Washington Post story indicates he did.

On July 9, 1971, the Post published a story headlined "U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming." It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man's use of fossil fuels.

Arrow Down

Arctic sea ice minimum shatters all-time record low, report University of Colorado scientists

Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center said today that the extent of Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its minimum for 2007 on Sept. 16, shattering all previous lows since satellite record-keeping began nearly 30 years ago.

The Arctic sea ice extent on Sept. 16 stood at 1.59 million square miles, or 4.13 million square kilometers, as calculated using a five-day running average, according to the team. Compared to the long-term minimum average from 1979 to 2000, the new minimum extent was lower by about 1 million square miles -- an area about the size of Alaska and Texas combined, or 10 United Kingdoms, they reported.

©telegraph.co.uk
Photographs taken in September 2005 and 2007

The minimum also breaks the previous minimum set on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 of 2005 by about 460,000 square miles, an area roughly the size of Texas and California combined, or five United Kingdoms, they found. The sea ice extent is the total area of all Arctic regions where ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean surface.

X

Raging fires: Four firefighters dead in Syria

Four firefighters died battling forest fires that have been raging in northern Syria since Wednesday, said the official news agency.

Planes from neighbouring Turkey had joined Syrian teams to try to contain the fires, which had spread to the area around the main road between the trading hub of Aleppo and the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean, the agency said.

Evil Rays

Bats may use magnetic polarity for navigation

Researchers have found that bats have a special ability to detect the polarity of a magnetic field, meaning that the creatures can tell the difference between north and south. The only other animal known to have this ability is the mole rat, while birds, fish, amphibians, and all other non-mammals possess a different version of the magnetic compass.

The finding may not only explain bats' long-distance navigation and foraging abilities, but also may provide insight on when and how magnetic field detection evolved in mammals and non-mammals. So explain the researchers, Yinan Wang, Yongxin Pan, Stuart Parsons, Michael Walker, and Shuyi Zhang, who are from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, East China Normal University in Shanghai, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.